Bring Back Dancing's Glory Days

Article excerpt

A KALEIDOSCOPE of colour and the inspirational sounds of strict-tempo ballroom music swept through the Old Mutual Hall in Pinelands last weekend as about 350 couples turned out to compete for top honours in the Fedansa Western Cape Ballroom and Latin American Championships.

That was a larger entry than usual, because of an increase in dancers in the juvenile (under 10) and junior (under 16) categories and an influx of competitors who were renewing their membership with the organisation, said Mavis Jacobs, public relations officers of Fedansa Western Cape.

Fedansa is the official governing body of the International DanceSport Federation (IDSF) in South Africa, which also issues provincial and Protea colours.

"The standard of ballroom dancing in the province is still up there," said Western Cape adjudicator Sharon Daniels.

"We are the main contenders for the top titles at the national championships."

Kevin Juul, who partnered Daniels to win three South African professional ballroom titles, agreed. "The standard was very good in the youth (under 19) and adult (19 and over) categories, and we saw the best professional Latin American section in years."

The quality of dancing among the more advanced dancers matched their presentation, grooming and costumes, guided by some of the best local dance champions, who are now their trainers. Some spare no expense when it comes to dress - rhinestones give the ultimate sparkle to an outfit and they don't come cheap. It's all part of the glitz and glamour that is synonymous with the sport.

Making it look easy is the trademark of an accomplished dancer. It takes plenty of hard work, dedication, time and stamina if you want to be competitive, particularly at international level.

Five-time South African adult champions Rouvan Williams, 20, and Nikki Losper 19, who represented the country at the recent IDSF World Cup 10-Dance Championships in South Korea, swept the board again with straight wins in all 10 dances. That means they have won the provincial ballroom trophy three times and the Latin American title six times in total. They are trained in Latin American by Juul and in ballroom by Bernard Johnson and have been dancing together since 2005.

Williams said their ballroom performance was not one of their best, but it still felt good.

Losper said she felt graceful and relaxed in the ballroom and that her "brain was just going with the music".

Mark-Dean Adams and Nadine Adams (Manny's Dance Studio) were runners-up to them in both sections. …